Many injury at work claims that are reported to insurers are caused because of the worker having no Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or equipment that is substandard and not fit for purpose.
If you have sustained an injury at work because your employer has failed to provide you with the correct personal protective equipment then you may be able to claim compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
If you have suffered an injury at work which could have been avoided if the required personal protective equipment been provided, then please call us now and speak to our experienced claims advisers to find out if you can make a claim for compensation.
What is Personal Protective Equipment?
The Short Guide to The Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, released by the HSE, defines PPE as ‘all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health or safety’.
What should be noted however is that neither respiratory nor hearing protection are covered by these regulations as they are governed by a number of alternative regulations, though governed separately they must be compatible with any PPE provided by your employer.
All equipment that is provided as a means of protecting oneself or ones employees from injury at work is considered PPE. Therefore any equipment that is provided as a means of protecting oneself or ones employees is considered PPE, meaning that high visibility clothing, gloves such as those used to reduce the ill effects of vibrating machinery, helmets, protective eye wear such as goggles or specially tinted glasses, as well as any harnessing or clothing at all used as a means of protection from the weather or workplace is considered PPE by the Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.
The UK has strict legislation to ensure employers supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees where required, to minimise the risk of injuries in the workplace.
Any employer found to be in breach of the The Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) could potentially be liable to for any claim made against them following any injuries to employees.
Do I have to pay for my personal protective equipment?
Employees are not responsible to pay or supply PPE as it is the responsibility of the employer to pay and provide PPE to any employee that requires it for the duties at work.
In addition to providing the necessary equipment it is the duty of the employer to ensure all personal protective equipment is maintained and fit for purpose. Equipment should be assessed prior to its use to verify its suitability.
As an example any clothing, harnesses, goggles etc should fit the user properly. Instructions of PPE should be provided to all employees by their employers as set out in The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
The only exception where an employee may be charged for PPE is when the equipment is retained by the employee following the end of the contracted term of employment. Any PPE paid for by an employer remains the employers property.
What employees are most at risk?
Any employee in the workplace that has suffered an injury because of the lack of suitable personal protective equipment that would not have been injured if PPE had been provided.
Typical examples would include:
- Heavy objects falling causing head injuries.
- Chemical splashes, vapours and dust that is airborne and causes eye damage.
- Breathing problems brought on by exposure to chemical vapours, asbestos, dust etc.
- Injuries caused by hair becoming entangled in machinery resulting in employees being pulled into a machine.
- High visibility clothing to prevent collisions with vehicles.
- Injury caused by splintering, metal splash and spray back that can be avoided by wearing overalls and goggles.
- Feet injuries from not wearing heavy-duty boots.
These examples are not exhaustive as there are too many scenarios to list where injuries to employees could be easily avoided if they are wearing the correct personal protective equipment. Wearing basic PPE such as hard hats, goggles/masks, hair nets, boots, protective suits and overalls would prevent these types of injuries in the workplace.
Claiming compensation for an injury
Accidents in the workplace as a result of the failure of employers to provide satisfactory personal protective equipment occur in the UK every day.
In some of these cases it is caused by a lack of knowledge that neither the employer nor the employee was aware that PPE should have been worn whilst carrying out their duties. In these circumstances, many of which are small businesses with only a few employees, it is normally only after the employee becomes injured that it becomes apparent PPE should have been worn.
However ignorance is no excuse and employers are negligent if injuries are suffered by employees because of their failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment.
If you have suffered an injury at work which could have been avoided if the correct equipment and protection had been provided then please contact us today and speak directly to one of our expert personal injury solicitors who will be able to assess your claim free of charge and advise if you would be able to pursue a claim for compensation.
At Injury Claims Assistance we deal with all work injury claims on a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement so there is no risk of financial outlay from our clients.